Video gaming has had quite a surge in popularity since 2020. Gaming audiences now number in their millions and the pastime has even beaten movies and music streaming as the most popular form of at-home entertainment.
Games, in some form or another, are as old as society; we’ve been playing them for millennia and video games are merely their modern incarnation. So, what is it about these virtual gaming experiences and consoles that so many people love?
Let’s take a look!
1. Video Games are Engaging
One big reason why people love to play video games so much is because they’re so engaging. As a hobby, digital games transport players into magical worlds that are absorbing and immersive. What could be better than losing yourself in a fantasy realm after a long day at work or university?
2. Games are Cost-Effective
And in many cases, they’re even free to play. During the last few years, the list of free games available digitally has grown exponentially. Gamers can now take their pick from exciting casino or poker games, battle royale tournaments, multiplayer RPGs, action-adventure games – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
3. Games are Good for the Brain
It wasn’t all that long ago when the public perception of video games was largely negative. However, developments in technology brought gaming to the mainstream and scientists began to investigate the positive effects of play. Numerous studies have been conducted that have linked video games to everything from improved cognitive abilities to sophisticated social skills.
Playing games on a regular basis acts as a workout for the brain. It’s an activity that is linked to neuroplasticity – essentially, the brain’s ability to develop itself. Consistent gameplay can increase grey matter, which then improves perception, spatial navigation, short-term memory and muscle control.
Modern-day video games can also help players develop better relationships outside of their gaming activities. Most of the top-selling titles feature a social element, and the huge communities that form around games like Fortnite and League of Legends encourage socialisation and interaction in the real world as much as the virtual one.
4. Gaming Holds the Potential for a New Career
And we’re not just talking about a job in games design and development, either. Professional competitive gaming has become a reality for players in the 21st century thanks to the emergence of the eSports (electronic sports) market. The best of the best can actually earn a living by playing their favourite games and travel the world to compete in tournaments with multi-million-dollar prize pools. Players like Johan “N0tail” Sundstein and Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka are the rock stars of the gaming world, earning millions of dollars playing games like DoTA 2.
As an industry, eSports isn’t just sustained by the adoration of gaming nerds. We’re now seeing cross-collaboration between pro-gaming entities and traditional sports leagues like the NBA. The market has also attracted the attention of big-name brands who are keen to get involved with a burgeoning industry that’s valued at over $1 billion.